What was the research project and who was conducting
Professor Karen Farquharson and several of her colleagues
working in sports sociology shared their interests in similar areas
of sport and began to work on a project together. Professor
Farquharson explains that her interest was specifically in how
sport attracts people of culturally diverse backgrounds. One
collaborator on the project, Ruth Jeanes from Monash, was
interested in how sport manages young people with a disability
whereas another collaborator, Ramon Spaaji from Victoria
University, was interested in "sport as a vehicle for social
inclusion". The research project was centred on diversity in
sports, particularly junior sports club, and how issues like gender
diversity and sports inclusivity are tackled.
What was the research question or the problem the
researcher was seeking to investigate?
The research project was focused on two questions, the first
being how is all types of diversity managed in junior sports
clubs? The second question asked to what extent including
people with diverse backgrounds can be compatible with
promoting sporting excellence and competitiveness in Australia.
Both questions involved the researchers investigating how junior
sports club included a range of athletes in their clubs and how
wide this range was.
Briefly describe their process, what method did they use
to undertake their research?
The researchers used three methods when undertaking their
research - interviews, surveys and participant observation. The
researchers asked children who went to various sports club about
how they felt about playing for the club and they interviewed
parents, volunteers, committee members and coaches in
addition. Everyone was asked similar questions such as 'how did
they define diversity?', 'what kind of diversity did the club try to
foster?' and 'how do they go about doing that?'. These interviews
were and hour long and semi-structured, allowing for the
researchers to ask variations of the same question. They also did
surveys with 450 people across 3 clubs. For the participant
observation, they observed two clubs by attending club practices
and games and volunteered in order to properly observe the
Were there any ethical implications for this research?